Sunday, November 30, 2008

Harry Potter UK Cover Yarn Club

September: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

October: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

November: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkeban

These are the first three colorways of the first Sock Yarn club I've joined. I've been hesitating to join any clubs because you never know what you'll end up with. This club seemed like a safe bet because I know which colors would be used and I've seen other colorways by this dyer. There are a total of seven skeins I'll be receiving in this club. Each one is based on the cover of one of the Harry Potter books released in the UK. The cover art for those editions is vastly different than the US Scholastic versions. If you look closely at the ball band you can see a picture of the actual UK cover that colorway was based on. I am so pleased with my skeins so far. I think Dharmafey (Ravelry name) from Cosmic Fibers does an excellent job matching the dye colors to the cover art. She also includes a little extra something with each shipment. With my first skein I received an HP trading card, with the second I received temporary tatoos of all the covers, and with the third I received a matching stitch marker. I can't wait to see what I get next!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Time to Dye

This post goes out to Knitvicious! Cause she's tired of the lake...
Way back in September, I got together with a couple of fellow Chicks to try our hand at dyeing our own yarn. Okay, it was not my first or even fourth time dyeing yarn, however, it was my first time using the dip method and my first time dyeing a sock blank.
The top photo is the result of dipping the ends of a pre-wound skein into two canning jars, one with pink dye and the other with chestnut dye, then microwaving the whole shebang. Hot Stuff! (By the way, Felted I still have your jars) The resulting skein has a deep chocolate color fading to tan and then a vanilla middle and light pink darkening to a perfect strawberry ice cream color. Neopolitan!
The bottom photo is the sock blank. This was a little harder to dye than I supposed, but only because my dye bottles were leaking. You can see little spots of blue on the pink and purple sections. I had a pattern picked out for this yarn before I dyed it so you would think that now, being two months later, I would have finished this project and could post an "after" picture. You would be wrong.
I spent the rest of September finishing old projects and working on WIP's. I didn't want to start any new projects until I'd done something about my total WIP count. I can't seem to bring it under 13. (I haven't decided if that's good or bad luck) So, while I have finished some projects (Mystery Stole 3, Carmen sweater, Marie Antoinette sock #1, Baby Ripple Blanket) I did not start my socks in September.
For October, my focus was all Halloween... (check back for my next post)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Little Vacation

Ever since I can remember, my favorite part of summer has been going to the beach. It was always the Pacific Ocean when I was growing up, but now that we live in Northern California, we are trying something different. (Besides, I did go to Dohene in So Cal a couple of months ago so I don't feel like I totally missed out this year!) We went to Lake Tahoe last week. It was a great getaway and the lake is gorgeous. We stayed in Tahoe City at a pet friendly place (because we took the dog). The room had a nice woodsy decor featuring black bears. There was a lovely grassy area leading to the beach across the road from where we stayed. I spent a lot of time there reading Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth. I got a sunburn my last day because I was so into the book I forgot to turn! Overall my time there was relaxing and I plan on doing it again, but the lake, no matter how beautiful, doesn't compare to my beloved Pacific!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Going Home

Who says you can't go home again? I recently went to visit my sister in Laguna Niguel and since Bakersfield is on the way, I stopped for a short (one hour) visit with my cousin. My mom was with me and she suggested we drive by our old high school. Yep, I went to the same high school (and junior high!) as my mom, exactly twenty years later. Above you can see one of my favorite spots, the East High Auditorium. I was in Drama (so was my mom, does the apple fall far from the tree?) so I have many fond memories of plays and musicals held there. I can still see the lines of people waiting for the doors to open. I can even remember snippets of conversations as we hurried by to get into our costumes and make-up. Oh, the memories!

Monday, June 16, 2008

In Da Hoodie

It's finished! I am completely done with my Neck Down Hoodie. The pattern is from Knitting Pure & Simple. I used fabulous Brook Farms Yarn wool and silk blend Four Play yarn and size 7 and 9 needles. It feels great on and I can't wait to wear it. You might be thinking I'll have a long wait for cool weather since I live in California, but not so! I work in a very cold office and so I'll be wearing it later this week...ahh! I started this project in March, soon after coming back home from Stitches West where I bought the yarn. I wove in the ends and attached the button on Friday. It was a pretty fast knit considering I didn't work on it for much of March and April. I recommend it to anyone that doesn't mind lots of knit stitch.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Waiting for Habu

Last month I went to Petaluma's yarn shop Knitterly with some of my fellow Chicks (Hi Cathy and Janice! ) and their friend (Hi Shar!) We had a great time learning to read Japanese knitting patterns and trying on all the great samples. I spent my life savings (well, not really but it felt like it) on some sweater kits. Now I'm impatiently waiting for my swell yarn to arrive. I've been checking the porch patio everyday to no avail. I believe my package is 3 business days overdue. I would absolutely love to order more kits, one for a bag in particular, but I need faster gratification. Okay, I've got go research Habu retailers...Bye!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Fawkes in Socks

This is the yarn I dyed to make Gigi Silva's (Monkey Toes) Fawkes pattern. The pattern was inspired by Dumbledore's phoenix from the Harry Potter series. I looked and looked and searched high and low for a colorway reminiscent of the mythical bird that rises from the flames.
Finally I decided to dye my own to get the exact colors I wanted in the exact order I wanted and the exact stripe size I wanted.

Considering that hand dyeing at home (by a someone new to the process no less) is not an exact science, I am well pleased with the result.

I am finished with the first sock and well on my way on the second. I'm trying to finish them before the end of May to enter them in Socktopia's May theme "Hot Feet". Wish me luck, please!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

April is for Anklets

This year I committed to finishing one pair of socks a month for the Sock-a-Month group on Ravelry. For April, that pair had to be anklets. I chose a pattern that I received in a swap last year. The yarn I got from a sock kit swap a couple of years ago. The yarn is Marion's Sock Yarn from Germany. I like this pattern and think the yarn was a good fit for it. The toe is not my favorite, but I wanted to, for once, work a pattern exactly as written!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Single Sock Syndrome

I never thought it would happen to me. Okay, it has happened to me before, but I never thought it would happen again. I like to knit and I like to finish projects. I also love symmetry. So how could I fall victim to SSS (Second Sock Syndrome)? I blame it on my iPod and Ravelry. There are so many great patterns out there in the knitting world, especially for socks. I hear about this pattern and see that pattern and find these oh-so-convenient links. Last month I had five socks on needles at once. I finished one complete pair (see post below) and one sock each of the other 4 patterns I was working on. Leaving me 4 mates to knit up. Now we're in April and I have committed to knitting at least 2 new sock patterns this month. See how my dilemma grows? I will faithfully cast on one pair tonight (the Nutkins) and another pair tomorrow (April Mystery Sock) and when will I work on my second socks from March? Now that my training time at work is over, I have four less knitting hours each day. I predict knitting insomnia for the next few weeks.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

This Just Woven-In

I just finished my Jaywalker's. I joined a group on Ravelry to knit one pair of socks a month. Each month has a theme and Jaywalker's was February. I duly cast on in February but so late in the month, I couldn't have finished them. I was working on the No-Purl Monkey Socks with my local CWS group. Now that both pairs are finished I can cast on my March socks. Yes, I know it's beyond the ides of March, but it is earlier than when I started in February!

About these socks:
Yarn: Knit Picks Bare Fingering 100% Merino hand-dyed by me
Needles: Knit Picks DPN's size 1 (2.25mm)
Pattern: Jaywalkers by Grumperina on Magknits
My rating: Love them! The fit is great and the color is very eye-catching (I'm calling them my Gigi Jaywalkers because they remind me of Gigi's grandmother's house in the 1958 musical)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Monkey, see? Monkey deux!

First off, nobody die of shock, yes, I posted something new...

My first Monkey is done and the second is not far off. My knit group decided to have a Monkey knit-a-long this month. I chose to knit the no-purl Monkey's in Fixation. I love that they look so smooth compared to the regular Monkey's I knit last November. Of course, I went down 2 needle sizes for these so that could be the reason they fit so well. I can't wait to see everyone else's finished socks.

I also can't wait to see again what everyone got at Stitches last weekend. I must say the Stitch-n-Ride train this year was excellent. None of the glitches that plagued last years ride. The market worked out better for me this year as well. Last year I was the proverbial deer in the headlights and came home with almost nothing. Not so this year. I have Brooks Farm yarn for my neck-down hoodie, ShiBui yarn for socks, a great sock yarn I bought from Beehive, some hemp/wool blend for a hat (pattern, too!) plus a few more things. Cher and I also got to meet Vickie Howell at the SWTC booth. Knit On!

My new toy this month is an iPod. I have spent much time today loading more music on it. Still trying to play with iTunes so I don't have to sync every time I want to add a few songs. I also spent computer time today emptying my camera so it will be ready for...uh huh, another trip to Disneyland (I'm taking my nephew on Saturday.) Now I'm kinda burnt out on the computer. I had planned on adding pictures to my flickr, but I may save that for another day.

Ladies in my knit group, guess what is drying right this minute? Yarn I dyed myself! Yep, I finally took the plunge and mixed that toxic dye. Scared me to death and I thought I had poisoned myself last night because I had trouble breathing (no worries, I just forgot to take my allery pill!) It came out okay for my first dye job. If it dries by tomorrow morning, I'll take it for Show and Tell.

Ta Ta For Now!